John Galliano: drugs erased my memory

By Jennifer Lipman, June 23, 2011
Galliano stood trial this week on the charge of abusing a person in public

Galliano stood trial this week on the charge of abusing a person in public

John Galliano has told a Paris court that he is unable to recall the comments which led to the loss of his job at Christian Dior because he was under the influence of alcohol, valium and sleeping pills.

The eccentric British couturier was in court on the charge of publicly insulting a person based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity. The offences are punishable in France with up to six months in jail or a £21,000 fine.

Mr Galliano was arrested in February after allegedly calling Geraldine Bloch a "dirty Jew" and insulting another man. Another woman subsequently came forward with a similar claim.

He was also filmed allegedly shouting "I love Hitler" and telling a group in a Paris bar: "People like you would be gassed."

Wearing a spotted scarf and black clothes, Mr Galliano told the packed courtroom that he was in recovery from his addictions and said that his father's death and the financial crash of 2008 had badly affected him.

Galliano was filmed allegedly shouting ‘I love Hitler’

But he said he had no memory of what had landed him in court. "I don't remember. I don't remember any insults and how the situation degenerated. I don't remember it lasted 45 minutes."

Ms Bloch reiterated that she had been called a "dirty Jewish face" and said: "I didn't want this incident to create such a media storm. I just thought I had no other choice." She said she thought it was "disproportionate and shocking" that the designer was fired by Dior in the wake of the scandal.

Ms Bloch said of the alleged insults: "There were variations, but the word Jewish kept coming back." Her lawyer Yves Beddouk said she was seeking only symbolic damages of one euro and the publication of the court's decision in fashion magazines including Vogue.

The trial took place as Parisian fashionistas got a first look at next year's spring-summer menswear collection. A verdict is expected in September.

Last updated: 1:19pm, June 23 2011